Commentary

Critica Commentary is a place for discussion of all things related to denial of scientific evidence and health and science literacy. Here you will find longer pieces about particular topics, such as medical misdiagnosis and conflicts of interest, as well as interviews with key people working at the intersection of health policy, science journalism, science education, and psychology, among other fields. You may also find guest posts by authorities in the field as well as by people with fascinating stories to share and analyses of recent news articles, studies, and current events. If you are interested in writing something for Critica, please contact us here.

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  • Don’t Shoot From the Hip; Shoot From the Research
    August 26, 2018 | Comments

    According to the Collins English Dictionary, “If you say that someone shoots from the hip, you mean that they react to situations or give their opinion very quickly, without stopping to think”. With pun fully intended, that is often the way statements are made about firearm-related injuries and deaths in the U.S. Almost no area […]

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  • Food for Thought Hampers Trust in Science
    July 18, 2018 | Comments

    There are few areas of science that attract as much attention by media and its consumers than nutrition. It seems that almost every time a study is published that touts a particular food or diet as having special health benefits, it garners headlines.

            One of the few things most of us believe we control is what we eat. That makes it highly attractive to think we can prevent seemingly uncontrollable events like heart disease, cancer, and dementia by choosing the right foods. It is even better when we are told we can do this without ever feeling hungry.

            It is not surprising, therefore, that science and the public intersect so frequently around diet and nutrition. Given that we want people to trust science and incorporate it into decisions about personal health and safety, it would seem of critical importance that the nutritional science imparted to the public be trustworthy and reported accurately. We have been following stories about nutritional studies closely because of their potential impact on how non-scientists judge the value of what they hear and read about scientists’ work and findings. Sadly, there are few areas of science as prone to mistakes, misunderstandings, and hype than nutrition.

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  • Starting From the End
    July 5, 2018 | Comments

    Reporting science accurately in a way that people understand it and, sometimes alter their beliefs or loyalty to authority, has been a challenge that probably predates Gallileo’s strained but ultimately successful challenge to geocentrism.

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  • Does Raising Awareness Change Behavior?
    June 6, 2018 | Comments

    Whatever month it is now, you’re sure to be surrounded by a number of “awareness” campaigns. How do you get people to take action on a cause? The common response is usually to start by raising awareness. How can people act on something without knowing it’s a problem? The assumption is that once people know […]

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  • Measure of the Earth – The Enlightenment Expedition that Reshaped the World
    May 21, 2018 | Comments

    Editors’ Note: Critica follower Peter McKenzie-Brown kindly shared this review with us. We were fascinated by the story it tells, of an era in which the public seemed gripped by a scientific controversy and fully prepared to accept the data, whichever side they proved correct. Moreover, the scientists involved themselves seemed perfectly amenable to accepting […]

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